Maude Priest was an Australian artist from Adelaide who, on the recommendation of her tutor Will ASHTON, visited Cornwall as part of a European tour in 1923-24. She was very taken with the landscape of west Cornwall, in particular Lamorna, where she was lucky enough to work with Samuel John Lamorna BIRCH. Under his influence she abandoned the use of oils and began to paint exclusively in watercolours, in a style which owed much to his influence. While in Lamorna she made use of Alfred MUNNINGS' old loft studio, and greatly enjoyed being part of the artistic community there, albeit briefly.

On returning to Australia Maude held exhibitions in 1924 and 1928, both of which featured Lamorna subjects. Indeed, her reviewers were so impressed by her work that they spoke of a 'Lamorna School of Watercolour Painting'. She became an art teacher at a local Adelaide school, one of her pupils being the Australian war artist, Max Ragless. She was a member of the Royal South Australian Society of Artists for over 30 years.

Unfortunately none of her Lamorna work has yet come to light.


Painting in watercolour and oils


Tovey (2022) Lamorna - An Artistic, Social and Literary History - Volume II - Post-1920, Wilson Books